Schwerdtner Manez, Kathleen (2010) Java's forgotten pearls: the history and disappearance of pearl fishing in the Segara Anakan lagoon, South Java, Indonesia. Journal of Historical Geography, 36 (4). pp. 367-376. DOI

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Pearls have been a valued resource in most cultures that had access to them. A number of historically important pearling grounds were situated in the waters around today's Indonesia. One of these areas, now largely forgotten, was the Segara Anakan lagoon in South Java. In the seventeenth century, Dutch colonists exploited the lagoon's pearls. Afterwards, the lagoon's oysters were locally exploited as a food item until the late 1970s. While the pearl fishery attracted considerable attention in the colonial literature, its disappearance, by contrast, went largely undocumented. Nowadays, the oysters no longer are found in the lagoon as a result of extensive sedimentation processes. Their former existence is only preserved in the memory of local people. This article examines the history and fate of the pearls of Segara Anakan, providing an example of a formerly valued species whose existence simply became forgotten outside the area.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 03057488
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 16:55
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:00

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